Almost 140 Irish academics have signed a pledge to support an academic boycott of Israel until the rights of the Palestinian people are respected.
Nine members of the DCU faculty were among the list of 138 third-level-academics that signed the pledge.
Among the signatories was Dr Eithne O’Connell who was left “horrified” after visiting Palestine and seeing the conflict first hand.
“The first thing I hope is that it will draw attention to the conflict. You don’t often hear the Palestine side expressed very clearly and hopefully this pledge will bring about a level of discussion and debate on this issue.”
The pledge, which was organised by Academics for Palestine, calls for a boycott of Israeli academic and cultural institutions until Israel withdraws from all the lands it occupies; agrees to the UN resolutions to reinstitute the rights of Palestinian refugees; and dismantles its system of apartheid.
Dr O’Connell sees the pledge as a “peaceful resistance”. O’Connell emphasised that the pledge is in no way an anti-Israeli attack but exists purely to reinstate the freedom and rights of the Palestinian people.
The movement launched a year after the International Court of Justice declared the illegality of Israel’s wall in the occupied Palestinian territory. The movement issued a call for “people of conscience all over the world to launch boycotts”.
The Teachers Union of Ireland became the first European Union institution to support the pledge when they made the decision to endorse it in April 2013.
A motion on whether DCU’s Class Rep Council should support the academics’ pledge has been deferred to the Council’s next meeting.